Scorsese and De Niro. McQueen and Fassbender. Tarantino and L. Jackson. Sometimes the forces of filmmaking are so profound that director and actor are willed into a state of artistic BFFship; a bond that cannot be broken unless some homewrecker named Leonardo DiCaprio saunters into Gangs of New York with the intention of stealing away another man’s bestie.
Now, the latest pair of cinematic buds seems to be David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence. They’ve spent Russell’s last two films together (Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle), and today Deadline reports their intent for a three-in-a-row teaming. It seems Russell is in talks to direct a biopic of Joy Mangano, the world’s leading pioneer of self-wringing squishy mop-thing technology, and he’s looking at Lawrence to star.
Mangano’s life is your typical success story. A single mom working three jobs to support her three kids, she had the brilliant idea of a Miracle Mop — a mop that could easily squeeze itself, allowing the mopper to stay well away from its filthy and deplorable mop leakage. She was able to nab a spot on the shopping network QVC, and in a mere twenty minutes she had already sold 18,000 Miracle Mops. Today, she’s worth millions, ensuring that the only mopping she has to do involves paying someone else to mop the sweat from her brow with a wadded-up hundred dollar bill.
There’s already a script in place for the project, written by Bridesmaids scribe Annie Mumolo, but Russell plans to do a little rewriting of his own before any filming is to be done. Probably a wise choice. As Mumolo’s only other writing credit besides Bridesmaids is an upcoming comedy where Melissa McCarthy steals the Stanley Cup, Miracle Mop: The Movie is probably a pretty broad comedy in its current state. In order to fit Russell’s style, it should probably be tapered down towards a “dramedy” level of humor.
Yuks aside, Mangano’s life story doesn’t seem all that different from any other rags-to-riches tale. First money was tight and life was tough, then money was plentiful and life was awesome. Yet there’s a secret weapon lurking here, and it’s the presence of the QVC. Home shopping channels are such perfect movie fodder that I’m surprised a QVC or Home Shopping Network-related film hasn’t happened already. The closest thing we’ve gotten was a TV shopper comedy starring Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey, which has done disappointingly little since it was announced back in 2010.
One the one hand, there’s something a little sad and a little manipulative about these kinds of channels. Compulsive buying disorder is a real thing, and those with a penchant for poor spending can quickly destroy themselves financially if a QVC addiction sets in. Yet at the same time, these stations are a breeding ground for a particular kind of crazy; a hilarious crazy that sets in whenever the hosts spend too long indoors and start to suffer from cabin fever. It’s where you’ll find a pre-Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe veering wildly off-script, discussing which cartoon characters he’d like to have sex with when he should be describing a handbag. Or a hapless salesman causing himself grievous bodily harm when a discount samurai sword explodes mid-demonstration. Or this poor soul, describing what is clearly not a horse, no matter how much he wishes it was.
If Russell and Lawrence can capture the kind of manic weirdness that exists in the world surrounding Joy Mangano, they’ll have a surefire hit on their hands. Hopefully Lawrence will have time to fit this one into her busy schedule, as she’s got two Hunger Games films to shoot, and then another two pictures planned with Hunger Games director Gary Ross. One thing’s for certain, though — if Lawrence can’t commit to this project, she’d better make sure Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t muscle in on her territory. He’d be a knockout Joy Mangano.